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Pesticides ‘making bees smaller’

Bumblebees exposed to a widely-used pesticide produced workers with lower body mass, scientists, Monday 20 January 2014 10.01 GMT Bumblebees could be shrinking because of exposure to a widely-used pesticide, a study suggests. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA Bumblebees could be shrinking because of exposure to a widely-used pesticide, a study suggests. Experts fear smaller bees will be less effective at foraging for nectar and carrying out their vital task of distributing pollen. Scientists in the UK conducted laboratory tests which showed how a pyrethroid pesticide stunted the growth of worker bumblebee larvae, causing them to hatch out reduced in size. Gemma Baron, one of the researchers from the School of Biological […]

Leaving farmers to reap the bitter harvest

Devinder Sharma January 19, 2014 A day after Parliament approved foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail in December 2012, a newspaper report highlighted how a big retail company was exploiting both the farmers as well as the consumers: the wholesale cash-n-carry Bharti-Walmart enterprise, the report said, was buying baby corn from contract growers in Punjab at Rs. 8 per kg, selling it in wholesale at Rs. 100/kg and finally the consumers were paying Rs. 200/kg. In other words, farmers were getting only 4% of the end price consumers paid. So to say that private enterprise will save Indian agriculture is all bunkum. Take the case of paddy in Bihar, the […]

Torch bearers for millet seed security

Jan 19, 2014: The National Biodiversity Authority has recognised 30 villages in Zaheerabad of Medak district of Andhra Pradesh that grow traditional and fast-disappearing millets as Agricultural Biodiversity Heritage Site (ABHS). The Andhra Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (APSBB), which finally gave green signal for the rare recognition, has sent its recommendation to the National Biodiversity Board, which has approved the proposal making these villages to become first villages in India to be recognized as ABHS. “The file is now with the agricultural department. By the end of January we will announce these villages as ABHS with or without their opinion,” a determined APSBB Chairman Dr R Hampaiah says. Thus, the […]

Agricultural fertilizer chemicals in water causing neonatal deaths?

original article NEW DELHI: India has been struggling to bring down neonatal mortality rate which accounts for 75% of infant deaths in the country. A paper published in the Journal of Development Economics indicates that the high mortality of neonates (babies less than 29 days old) might be due to the exposure to fertilizer chemicals in water, especially in rural areas where agriculture is the main occupation for women. The paper titled, Seasonal Effects of Water Quality: The hidden costs of Green Revolution to infant and child health in India, examined the impact of fertilizer agrichemicals in water on infant and child health using water quality data combined with […]

Séralini retraction is black mark on scientific publishing – Georgetown professors

Hundreds of studies should be permanently removed from the scientific literature, but the Séralini study is not one of them, say two professors at Georgetown University Medical Center. Rounding up scientific journals Adriane Fugh-Berman and Thomas G. Sherman,  Bioethics Forum, Jan 10 2014 (links to sources at the url above) Scientific journal publishing reached a low point in November, when the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted a study by Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues at Caen University in France. The study, published in November 2012, assessed the effect of feeding rats corn genetically modified to withstand treatment with Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup for two years (that is a lifetime in rat […]

వ్యవసాయ రంగం పై ‘జేపి’ ఆలోచనలు

Comments on JPs articles on GM crops and price policies వ్యవసాయ రంగం పై లోక్సత్తా ‘జయప్రకాశ్ నారాయణ్’ గారి ఆలోచనల పై తొలకరి సంపాదకులు ‘రవి’  రాసిన వ్యాసం.

Women Living Near Pesticide-Treated Fields Have Smaller Babies

Women in northern California farm towns gave birth to smaller babies if they lived within three miles of strawberry fields and other crops treated with the pesticide methyl bromide, according to researchers By Lindsey Konkel and Environmental Health News   HAZARDOUS FARMING: A soil fumigant, methyl bromide is deemed critical to the practice of strawberry farming despite its harmful effects on Earth’s protective ozone layer. Now it is believed to be behind reported smaller birth weights of women in northern California farm towns. Women in Northern California farm towns gave birth to smaller babies if they lived within three miles of strawberry fields and other crops treated with the pesticide methyl bromide, according […]

India: Direct cash transfers is aimed at dismantling food procurement, and moving away from food self-sufficiency.

#DevinderSharma Some weeks back, I was participating in a panel discussion on cash transfers on a national TV channel. While the discussion wheeled around the merits and demerits of cash transfer, I think the anchor was taken by surprise when I said that cash transfers is in effect a ‘cash-for-vote’ programme. Supporting my argument with a World Bank study for Latin America, I found the entire focus of the discussion thereafter shifting to whether the real intention behind the aggressive push for cash transfers is aimed at the 2014 elections. While the media as well as most panellists who frequent the TV channels, for some strange reasons, were and are […]

Indian scientific community for stopping open air releases of GMOs –

Highlights growing scientific evidence on adverse impacts  New Delhi, 21st November, 2013: At a time when the debate around Genetically Modified (GM) crops in the country is heating up, hundreds of Indian scientists have written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, asking him to ensure that Government of India heeds to the voice of science and accepts the recommendations in the final report of the independent scientists in the Supreme Court Technical Expert Committee. They also urged for the stopping of all open air releases of GMOs in the country, as recommended by the majority TEC report. The letter initiated by five leading scientists from the fields of Molecular Biology, […]

India: Why property rights for women matter Bina Agarwal/Women’s Features Service   Nov 07, 2013 For women, effective rights in property are critically important, not just for their economic well-being but also for their political and social empowerment, writes Bina Agarwal. Delhi: Bina Agarwal is a prize-winning development economist and Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester. Earlier, she was Director, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Her work, ‘A Field of One’s Own: Gender and Land Rights’ in South Asia, came out in 1994. She also spearheaded a successful campaign for the comprehensive amendment of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, which resulted in the enactment of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. In […]

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